Holidays and treatment of staff on return – consistency is key
Employers are grappling with the issue of staff taking holiday abroad this year, and the possible ramifications of quarantine on return. Employees thinking of going on holiday to an amber list country and simply working from home on return may need permission; many businesses limit the amount of holiday that can be taken at any one time which would mean that there are simply not enough days’ holiday to be able to go abroad.
Cautious employers may want to stop holiday plans that involve employees being out of the office for the duration of their holiday plus up to 10 days of quarantine on return. They potentially can do so by simply requiring employees to return to work and not allowing extended leave.
What is important is that employers consider now, how they wish to deal with this thorny issue and advise their staff in advance. If you cannot permit staff to work from home whilst the quarantine, make it clear now, that this is policy.
Employees who fail to comply with a reasonable management instruction may then be subjected to disciplinary action. It could also potentially be a breach of the relationship of trust and confidence between the parties. The threat of this may be sufficient to make employees carefully consider their travel plans.
What is vitally important is consistency. The same rules must be applied to all travel – not just holiday travel. And all levels of employee must be treated equally.